What is the future holding to us? AI? Are they taking over? What is AI? Are they dangerous? Are they good? Are they really more intelligent to us? Are they similar to us? Do they pose any threat on us? Are all of these movies that says they are threats are real?
Wowowah! You are kinda overwhelming me with all these questions? What is that you are really worried about.
I am worried about the AI taking the universe from us?
Good, now I understand. Are they taking the universe from us? Well, according to Bill Gates, in the next 50 years, the AI is going to read a book and sit an exam, scoring more than a human. We know that IBM’s deep blue has been able to defeat the chess’s champion, Kasparov. And Google’s AI chess bot, AlphaZero, was able to defeat the world’s leading chess program, Stockfish 8, after just 4 hours of training. So, where is this taking us? What are the implications how is the future going to look.
Well, first of all? Is AI bad and evil spirited and do they want to take our position? They don’t realise their existence from the lack of it and they are just doing what they are programmed to do, but their programs are not based on a digital input and output, meaning there are no if conditions, they are judged more on results, rather on being given the exact steps of how to do it. Based on the results, they will alter the weights on their neural networks and hence alter their behaviour. But, they don’t know what is right or wrong, we know it and we teach it to them and based on our results, they would have to alter. So, they are really not defining their purpose, we are and we are setting the criteria, not them. So, their is no element of bad intention there, since we control the inputs and the outputs and hence the behaviour. But, this is true now, is it always going to hold out to be true? Yes, AI will always be our creation and we will always control the inputs and the outputs and the success criteria. It has no way to determine that for itself and so, and it will always remain under our control and it will do what we taught it to do.
That is a big sigh or relief. We are safe, then. Right? No, we are not.
AI is a pretty advanced tool that is doing what we want it to do, sometimes far better than we can. It will be competing whether we like it or not in the marketplace. Have you ever heard of a robot complaining that it had to do too much work? Have you ever heard of a human doing it? You get the picture. Put yourself in Uber’s shoes while it is choosing to use self-driving cars for their trips. Their customers will not complain about them and the they will not complain about Uber. Generally, less headache and more output which translate into top dollars for stakeholders. If they have to lay off all of Uber’s drivers. So, be it. This means less trouble, more customer satisfaction and better sustainable business models. So, even though it is doing what we want it to do, it is obeying its master and growing in intelligence everyday, training and working relentlessly and competing in the market which would lead to many lay-offs and less job security.
In the sixties, nobody had to worry about his job position. He always knew he had it, now the market is fiercer and one had to continuously upgrade himself to remain in the market. With aggressive competition from AI, job security will grow less and less.
A self-driving car is less likely to make an accident with another self-driving car, since they are connected to the same network. An AI robot doctor is less likely to be out-of-date in its information, since it receives all its information over the internet. True, a wrong update can cause millions of lives to be lost, but they are far more less easy-maintenance than humans. It is true that the mere survival is going to be a challenge with these AI robots around and whoever is lazy or has below average IQ, has less chance of surviving with AI around. And therefore, you are right about them posing a threat, but may be less right about them being evil-intended. In the globalisation, free-market era, AI is going to compete with us in the marketplace and there is so little that we can do about it.
Oh! Is the future going to be so gloomy? And, why compete with them? Why not sit back and relax and enjoy them serving us. After-all, with all doing all the hard effort, there will be less of a problem with finding food, they can it to us and there will be less wars and competition for resources with them figuring out to us all the answers to the hard questions. We can just sit back, relax and let them figure it out for us. Well, this is not as easy as it sounds. AI cannot figure out for us anything, we are the one that has to figure it out for ourselves and we are having trouble figuring it out for ourselves. And, in order to figure it out, we will have to work. And as we will attempt to work, we will have to compete with everything being automated more and more everyday and it is true, the world is going to be more comfortable in many ways, but it is equally correct that it is going to be more demanding in many ways. So, the challenge would be with our lives being so much more easier in many ways, and every reason is given to be lazy, there is a far less chance to be lazy especially that people who are not, will have far more rewards and possibilities.
We are talking here about TV’s which will monitor your face expressions, determine your tastes and customise it shows us based on that. How difficult is it going to be to keep yourself and your kids away from this TV and do some work. And at the end, if you don’t do some work, I am sure, it will be easier to find food, but imagining the second level of luxury that you could have if you do, makes it very difficult not to work! Also, imagine how would AI interfere in government policies. Imagine, the borders of the U.S. protected by a virtual Google wall that would use the AI to fire bullets against whoever steps across the border. Imagine AI making budget decisions for governments. As impressive as it may sound, you would tend to wonder, where do humans fit into all of this. And you are right, they don’t, unless they really want to. Which is why in tomorrow’s world, if you don’t show interest, you are very easily forgotten. And, who wants to be forgotten?!
So, what does it mean for me and how can I prepare my forward for myself and for my kids. Good question! Be mobile. Learn a new thing everyday. Make it a point to step out of the comfort zone. Corona is a good test-run for a very competitive market, the future is going to be far more competitive. In tomorrow’s world, you are going to have to be an entrepreneur even if you are an employee. So, take risks and follow your way through and make it a point to exhibit toughness and show your strength every new day. This is the only way you can survive in tomorrow’s world.
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